I hadn’t planned on writing any more about the incident between Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin Saturday night. But I’ve been astounded by how many Bulldogs fans have come to Grantham’s defense, so let me just get this out once:
There’s a line between emotion and stupidity, and Grantham crossed it.
Coach Mark Richt knows as much. Athletic director Greg McGarity, who has met with Grantham according to our Chip Towers, knows as much. The SEC is reviewing the incident.
Even Grantham — once he cooled down 36 hours later — somewhat admits he overreacted, saying this morning: “… It was unfortunate that things escalated to a confrontation. However, I’ll use it as a learning experience for myself as well as my players so that we all become better men.”
To recap quickly (video below): The Georgia-Vanderbilt game was an emotional one (more than one would have expected). Georgia had a few personal fouls (Kwame Geathers even punching a Vandy player while he was down). Some Dogs defensive players reportedly were upset about Vandy’s cut-blocking tactics.
But none of that excuses the way Grantham acted during a post-game feud with Franklin. For one, he’s a college coach. There something to be said about setting an example for youth .This has nothing to do with Georgia needing to show more emotion and a coach trying to fire up his troops. Emotion can be more of a weakness than a strength.
Secondly, some folks get the benefit of the doubt. Grantham is not one of them. Last season, he gave the choke sign to Florida kicker Chas Henry multiple times before the Dallas, Ga., native nailed a 36-yard field goal in overtime to give the Gators a 34-31 win in Jacksonville. (See video below.) That was even worse than this because it was a 44-year-old coach taunting a 21-year-old college kid.
A few days after that game, Grantham expressed regret about the incident, saying, “As a competitor, sometimes you get caught up in the heat of the moment. I wish the situation hadn’t happened.”
This makes it two straight seasons Grantham has been a YouTube sensation (or embarrassment). With the Florida game coming up, he might want to turn the other way during field goal attempts.
And from now on, just walk off the field after the game and avoid the handshakes. It’s clear he needs some alone time first.
Grantham after Vanderbilt game
Grantham against Florida last season